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  1. TopTop #4621
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Willing

    Let me listen.
    Let me not know what to say.
    Let me receive the world
    as it slurs and shrieks,
    hums and whispers,
    speaks and bleats.
    Let me lean ever closer in.
    There are walls I have built
    in my ears. There is so much
    I would rather not hear.
    Let me listen.
    Let me receive with wonder.
    Let all be worthy of note.
    Let me be witness, eavesdropper,
    spy.

    Let me never pretend
    to be deaf.
    Let the world slip into me
    and change me
    as light changes a room.
    Let me be silent, let me listen,
    and in listening,
    let me be new.



    - Rosemary Wahtola Trommer

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  2. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  3. TopTop #4622
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Screen Time

    Mirrors are one thing
    I am there for hair
    or to apply emollient
    with purpose
    then move on –
    brief self-assessment
    and that’s it

    And before these times
    of distance and screens,
    when I was with you
    I looked only at you
    into your eyes
    could see the subtle signs
    of your life lived

    Now I spend hours
    looking at a gallery
    of people almost there –
    I am one of them

    Grateful for the chance
    to see you at all,
    I can’t complain,
    at least not about you.
    I try not to look at myself
    looking at you

    but it’s hard not to observe
    that I tend to tilt my head
    so I experiment
    left, right or straight
    which is best?

    Back to focusing on you
    I am listening, really I am
    but I can’t help but notice my wrinkly bits,
    that my face is more serious than I feel
    and do I look pale?
    Do we all look pale?

    - Margaret Barkley
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  4. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  5. TopTop #4623
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    The Silence of the Stars


    When Laurens van der Post one night
    In the Kalihari Desert told the Bushmen
    He couldn't hear the stars
    Singing, they didn't believe him. They looked at him,
    Half-smiling. They examined his face
    To see whether he was joking
    Or deceiving them. Then two of those small men
    Who plant nothing, who have almost
    Nothing to hunt, who live
    On almost nothing, and with no one
    But themselves, led him away
    From the crackling thorn-scrub fire
    And stood with him under the night sky
    And listened. One of them whispered,
    Do you not hear them now?
    And van der Post listened, not wanting
    To disbelieve, but had to answer,
    No. They walked him slowly
    Like a sick man to the small dim
    Circle of firelight and told him
    They were terribly sorry,
    And he felt even sorrier
    For himself and blamed his ancestors
    For their strange loss of hearing,
    Which was his loss now. On some clear nights
    When nearby houses have turned off their visions,
    When the traffic dwindles, when through streets
    Are between sirens and the jets overhead
    Are between crossings, when the wind
    Is hanging fire in the fir trees,
    And the long-eared owl in the neighboring grove
    Between calls is regarding his own darkness,
    I look at the stars again as I first did
    To school myself in the names of constellations
    And remember my first sense of their terrible distance,
    I can still hear what I thought
    At the edge of silence were the inside jokes
    Of my heartbeat, my arterial traffic,
    The C above high C of my inner ear, myself
    Tunelessly humming, but now I know what they are:
    My fair share of the music of the spheres
    And clusters of ripening stars,
    Of the songs from the throats of the old gods
    Still tending even tone-deaf creatures
    Through their exiles in the desert.


    - David Wagoner
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  6. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  7. TopTop #4624
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    For Those Who Came Before

    Silence that breaks the strongest of eardrums
    The lynching rope's last whispers,
    Cracking as it stretches before the awful truth
    Of pure unrelenting ignorance.


    Where innocence is crowned in thorns
    Just as it was centuries before
    To noble the cause of awakening.


    The good buried deep
    Remembered only vaguely by the grave digger,
    Who unapologetically does his sole labor
    To forget the past.


    Erasing the deeds that mock harshly
    Humanity's false imaginings
    Of its evolved state.


    Denial, whose Sunday preacher
    Emancipates with sweat and spittle
    Any doubts of conscience or equality
    In the name of Jesus.


    To whom any or all injustices can be righted
    Tightly, like a taunt rope.


    - Craig Bassett
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  9. TopTop #4625
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Legacies


    her grandmother called her from the playground
    “yes, ma’am”
    “i want chu to learn how to make rolls” said the old
    woman proudly
    but the little girl didn’t want
    to learn how because she knew
    even if she couldn’t say it that
    that would mean when the old one died she would be less
    dependent on her spirit so
    she said
    “i don’t want to know how to make no rolls”
    with her lips poked out
    and the old woman wiped her hands on
    her apron saying “lord
    these children”
    and neither of them ever
    said what they meant
    and i guess nobody ever does


    - Nikki Giovanni
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  10. Gratitude expressed by 9 members:

  11. TopTop #4626
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    You Reading This, Be Ready


    Starting here, what do you want to remember?
    How sunlight creeps along the shining floor?
    What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
    sound from outside fills the air?


    Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
    than the breathing respect that you carry
    wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
    for time to show you some better thoughts?


    When you turn around, starting here, lift this
    new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
    all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
    reading or hearing this, keep it for life --


    What can anyone give you greater than now,
    starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?


    - William Stafford
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  12. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  13. TopTop #4627
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Petrified Wood


    In this moment,
    the wind lofted branches
    dance their familiar pine waltz.
    And while the June snowfall clings,
    the granite peaks remain
    seemingly permanent, unchanging.
    While elsewhere,
    the virus dance destroys,
    and cuts open inequities
    to global view,

    and rage
    at the atrocities to which we are powerless,
    channels
    to meet the currents of rage
    at the human atrocities we must control.


    Here, the ancient deaths become rocks of treasure,
    spawning new appreciation.
    Yet, let us not take aeons -of grains as small as sand -
    of empathy , compassion, and justice,

    to bring us to treasure the present,
    human, xylem and phloem of our communities.
    Let us not wait
    for the living gifts of our people
    to turn to stone, before they are preserved.


    - Renee Dryfoos

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  14. TopTop #4628
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson


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  15. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  16. TopTop #4629
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Help Me, Love Poem


    Help me, love poem, rise up from the broken glass,
    The time to sing has come.
    Help me, love poem, to reestablish integrity,
    And to sing again about pain.


    The world isn’t free of war, it’s true,
    It isn’t washed of its blood, hate still exists,
    It’s true.


    But it’s also certain that we’re closer to a truth.
    Violence sees itself in the mirror of the world
    And its face is not even attractive to itself.


    And I continue believing in the possibility of love.
    I’m certain of that understanding among
    Human beings, achieved over pain,
    Over the broken glass.


    - Pablo Neruda
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  17. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  18. TopTop #4630
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Weather


    On a scrap of paper in the archive is written

    I have forgotten my umbrella. Turns out

    in a pandemic everyone, not just the philosopher,

    is without. We scramble in the drought of information

    held back by inside traders. Drop by drop. Face

    covering? No, yes. Social distancing? Six feet

    under for underlying conditions. Black.

    Just us and the blues kneeling on a neck

    with the full weight of a man in blue.

    Eight minutes and forty-six seconds.

    In extremis, I can’t breathe gives way

    to asphyxiation, to giving up this world,

    and then mama, called to, a call

    to protest, fire, glass, say their names, say

    their names, white silence equals violence,

    the violence of again, a militarized police

    force teargassing, bullets ricochet, and civil

    unrest taking it, burning it down. Whatever

    contracts keep us social compel us now

    to disorder the disorder. Peace. We’re out

    to repair the future. There’s an umbrella

    by the door, not for yesterday but for the weather

    that’s here. I say weather but I mean

    a form of governing that deals out death

    and names it living. I say weather but I mean

    a November that won’t be held off. This time

    nothing, no one forgotten. We are here for the storm

    that’s storming because what’s taken matters.

    - Claudia Rankine
    Last edited by Barry; 07-23-2020 at 12:57 PM.
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  19. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  20. TopTop #4631
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Huck




    Where did you go my little one?
    Your puppy paws and milky breath,
    brown, spotted fur
    with the eyes of Mary Oliver


    You had me before we even made it home


    Together we imbued our dream
    of open car windows,
    golden parks with butterfly ferns,
    English Plane trees
    where we practiced voice commands
    that you would stay,
    and I would soar with adorations


    How could they take you away, my darling
    How could I have already failed
    in my duty to protect our sovereignty
    They lied to my protective instincts
    when they took you and your pink tummy
    to be neutered


    and then gave you away to someone else


    I stand now in the dark
    your open crate and your unsoiled blanket
    apologizing to you
    and our dream
    of endless mornings, walks and tug-o-war


    How they will have to wait, and wait
    now with my tears -
    an open braided-leash




    - P. Gregory Guss
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  21. Gratitude expressed by:

    M/M
  22. TopTop #4632
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    On Breathing


    I held mine, at a cash point
    by the police station
    when I saw her kneel to speak
    on his level, a mother telling
    her not yet three year old son you don’t
    need to be scared, we’ve done nothing
    wrong, him nodding like he could see
    the shape of her lie, like life had taught
    him already that fear is for surviving
    and in his innocence the boy brought
    me to the tight of my chest at the sight
    of the men in bullet proof vests by their
    hi vis van, I felt for the phone in my pocket
    heavy as untaught history where there on a timeline
    a man in Ohio can’t decide if a mask
    is more dangerous than his own face—
    I want to live
    but I also want to live
    —I’m trying to take one here to get a grip
    on what I mean but it's everywhere and
    messy, while my friend wastes his in polite
    debate with a man who can’t fathom
    a life without his invisible upper hand
    and a few months before this, when I refused
    to watch that video, I gasped for mine
    between guttural sobs on the sofa and
    a man in Hackney gasped for his on the hospital
    bed when the doctor tried to switch him off,
    saying he’d been on for too long, saying
    the ventilator needed to go to someone
    who had a chance at life, his wife fought
    to her last for his, wouldn’t leave the bedside
    until he could inhale without coughing
    and lord knows it's hard to speak when
    you’re trying to catch yours, and how is it that
    we’ve been running out of ours and not stopped
    running, we’ve been chasing ours and it seems
    the world wants to knock the wind out of us and
    as I write this now, with another tab open on
    respiration and stress relief, two men hover
    in the sycamore outside my window, paid to cut
    down the thing that’s been quietly, unequivocally
    helping me inhale/exhale, this ordinary act
    made sacred under the impossible weight
    of a world that won’t tend to its wounds and
    what becomes of a poem that’s run out of air
    but refuses to end?


    - Remi Graves
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  23. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  24. TopTop #4633
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    If Only…..




    If only we had all worn masks…
    If only every human had good medical coverage….
    If only our nursing homes were safe….
    If only every person listened to scientists and medical professionals…..
    If only every person had a made a living wage to be able to save for a difficult time
    If only our caring for others became more important that our selfishness
    If only……..




    If only we had conserved our natural resources
    If only we had preserved our many forests
    If only we had known the price of convenience over saving our air and oceans
    If only we had invested in public transportation
    If only we had listened to scientists’ warnings
    If only we relied less on fossil fuels
    If only we had realized the cost of unchecked growth on animal habitats, breeds of wildlife
    If only we had realized that everything we do and how we live has an effect on nature
    If only we all wanted a safe climate for the next generation
    If only we could see that the worst is yet to come…..


    - Karen Barnes
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  25. Gratitude expressed by:

    M/M
  26. TopTop #4634
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    For John Lewis


    In an age of outrage there is love.
    In an age of fear there is love.
    In an age of unspeakable grief and loss there is love.


    Gratitude remains intact.
    But we must act.


    In an age of outrage, fear and grief
    there is always love.


    And always gratitude, kindness and compassion,
    in action,
    in the service of love.
    In the service to the generations that follow.


    - Janis Dolnick


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  27. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  28. TopTop #4635
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Berry

    Figural lugers rove-ovalling over ever dagger-doomed time-bend.
    Sectioned seconds severed slightly, silently.
    Space-slivers tomb-riddled busily biding dial-driven dome-dance, endemerail.
    The minotaur a monitor a moonitude, dune-dumb, dancing.

    Quiet please, a berry is breaking.
    The juice is trickling strictly sweetly,
    a temple treble, an ice-lit sky court,
    a deep-pillared pentagonal pale-paved haven.

    Five garden marble-maids breathe entrance, bow arches.
    Astrally assembled, a circle assuming,
    still-stationed sacredly, aspiring to spiral.

    Split-lifted at prayer-point, swirl-hurling through the midnight noon.
    Petalpure power pipe-reeling through ringrich rim-locks,
    unpeeling the first mystery fruits myth-rhythmically.

    Quiet please, a berry is breaking.
    The pain is trickling strictly sweetly.
    The stem is still ecstatic.



    - Cindy Bishop
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  30. TopTop #4636
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    When I Am Among The Trees

    When I am among the trees,
    especially the willows and the honey locust,
    equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
    they give off such hints of gladness.
    I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
    I am so distant from the hope of myself,
    in which I have goodness, and discernment,
    and never hurry through the world
    but walk slowly, and bow often.
    Around me the trees stir in their leaves
    and call out, “Stay awhile.”
    The light flows from their branches.
    And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
    “and you too have come
    into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
    with light, and to shine.”



    - Mary Oliver
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  31. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  32. TopTop #4637
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Poetry At The End Of The World


    Indigenous peoples do not believe the world is ending.


    The world is changing, they say.


    Even before the scientists named climate change


    The shamans knew it


    When they saw the snow caps melting


    The earth quaking and tilting


    Animals and birds leaving


    The Ocean rising


    They say: The Earth is Changing. For the sixth time.


    ***


    The Inuit ask: When all the ice melts, who will we be?


    In Vanuatu they say: We have nowhere to go in this island.


    The Kogi says: The Younger Brother is hurting our Mother


    The Syrian refugees say: The war is caused by drought.


    The Indian farmer says: I cannot pay my debts; I’d rather die.


    The white man in Texas says: I will build me a bunker.


    The white man in the White House says: I will build me a wall.


    The Silicon Valley techie says: I will build spaceships to Mars.


    The media mogul says: Let’s make more reality tv spectacles.


    The religious say: God will provide.


    ***


    In the meantime —


    Fire says: I’m hungry


    Water says: I am thirsty.


    Fish says: I am choking on plastic


    Bees say: Your chemicals make me sick.


    Monarch butterflies ask: Where’s our habitat now?


    ***


    Chthulune, Anthropocene,


    Biomimicry, New materialism


    Agential Realism, Inter and Intrasubjectivity


    Mental monocropping, Hybridity


    Indigenous Cosmopolitanism


    Concepts roll off the brain but doesn’t land on the skin


    ***


    Poetry at the end of the world is:


    Silence


    Elegant Disintegration


    Just. Be. Kind.


    Tender and Generous


    ***


    Go barefoot often


    Salute the Sun each morning


    Say Goodnight, Moon.


    Eat local and in season


    ***


    I keep going because I belong to a village


    Pay my debt for the privilege of being here for a few moments


    Live poetically even if I am not a word poet


    English is not my first tongue


    ***


    Grieve now while you can


    Build beautiful altars to Death


    Sing and dance your prayers


    Resist the temptation of bright-sidedness


    Do not meditate away your grief


    Do not write another self help book


    Poems, yes.






    - Leny Strobel

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  33. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  34. TopTop #4638
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Irony


    France forbid burkhas in its elegant cities,
    Americans persecuted those with covered faces


    Our President forbid the entry of those people into our country
    Schools/universities made rules forbidding the strange coverings.


    Must I go on?


    God has played a wonderful trick on us all:
    Wear the mask or die of a virus that is out of our control,
    that is beyond our immigration rules
    that does not see borders,
    that is toys with the most intelligent minds on the planet,


    mutating as I speak these very words, trying to survive in its primitive right.


    Ah! irony. Now, even the male sex of the species,
    required to cover their faces, except for those eyes,
    the haunting eyes that look for recognition, connection.


    May the Covid 19 teach us the Unity we actually are
    and have its Darwinistic impact on those who remain arrogant.


    - Jan Corbett
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  35. Gratitude expressed by:

  36. TopTop #4639
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    In the Eighties We Did the Wop




    If you end your crusades for the great race,


    then I will end my reenactments of flying,


    and if you lean down to smell a painted trillium,


    then I will cast a closer eye on those amber waves,


    and if you stop killing black children,


    then I will turn my drums to the sea and away from


    your wounded mountains. Who mothered your love of death?


    Here is a heart-shaped stone to rub when you feel fear rising;


    give me anything, an empty can of Pabst, a plastic souvenir, a t-shirt from

    Daytona.


    Here is a first edition: The Complete Poems of Lucille Clifton.


    Give me an ancient grove and a conversation by a creek, charms


    to salve my griefs, something that says you are human,


    and I will give you the laughter in my brain and the tranquil eyes of my uncles.


    Show me your grin in the middle of winter.


    In the eighties we did the wop; you, too, have your dances.


    It is like stealing light from a flash in the sky. I promise:


    no one is blaming you. No one is trying to replace you.


    It’s just that you are carrying a tainted clock calling it European History,


    standing in khakis, eyes frightened like a mess of beetles.


    - Major Jackson
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  37. Gratitude expressed by:

    Dre
  38. TopTop #4640
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Drawings By Children




    1


    The sun may be visible or not
    (it may be behind you,
    the viewer of these pictures)
    but the sky is always blue
    if it is day.
    If not,
    the stars come almost within your grasp;
    crooked, they reach out to you,
    on the verge of falling.
    It is never sunrise or sunset;
    there is no bloody eye
    spying on you across the horizon.
    It is clearly day or night,
    it is bright or totally dark,
    it is here and never there.


    2


    In the beginning, you only needed
    your head, a moon swimming in space,
    and four bare branches;
    and when your body was added,
    it was light and thin at first,
    not yet the dark chapel
    from which, later, you tried to escape.
    You lived in a non-Newtonian world,
    your arms grew up from your shoulders,
    your feet did not touch the ground,
    your hair was streaming,
    you were still flying.


    3


    The house is smaller than you remembered,
    it has windows but no door.
    A chimney sits on the gable roof,
    a curl of smoke reassures you.
    But the house has only two dimensions,
    like a mash without its face;
    the people who live there stand outside
    as though time were always summer —
    there is nothing behind the wall
    except a space where the wind whistles,
    but you cannot see that.


    - Lisel Mueller
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  39. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  40. TopTop #4641
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    A Cry From Down The Rabbit Hole In The Time Of The Pandemic

    I have gone
    down the rabbit hole
    chasing a bright
    promise of information,
    which I believed to be
    the quick tail of elusive truth,
    but so far, down here,
    have scarcely gotten
    even another glimpse!

    You see, I thought I already
    possessed that commodity:
    that truth was safely inside me.
    I pursued my daily
    rounds of life with confidence,
    eager to make my sojourn here
    a vehicle for truth’s stamp
    each time the sun came up.
    Were those the days!
    And in summer, I would travel
    to faraway places and sometimes
    my holiest spot on Earth,
    to refresh those inner wellsprings.
    Now my world has been fractured—
    cloven asunder by Duality’s sword
    in the form of bold voices
    speaking into my world
    what I considered nonsense,
    with straight face
    and many earnest points
    and copious hyperlinks.
    My confidence—
    easily shaken when challenged,
    a lifelong problem—
    falters and I think:
    “Could they be right?”

    I languish in this rabbit hole
    of dualistic parry-and-thrust,
    for my Beloved of my heart says
    all are One, and even more:
    “Inscribe these words on your heart.
    God alone is real.
    Nothing matters but love for God.”*

    Oh, Beloved!
    How do I recover the vision
    of Oneness You gave me,
    which I enjoyed—
    let’s not exaggerate, though,
    it was never continuous—
    before I dove
    down this rabbit hole!
    They call this cognitive dissonance,
    a fancy name for confusion,
    for a dragon whose smoke
    obscures the clarity of Truth!
    A virtual destruction
    of the wholeness
    I thought I knew.

    Show me how to restore
    the perception of Oneness
    to my double-vision mental eye!

    Those contrary voices:
    How can I see they are You as well—
    that there is no “right” or “wrong”,
    but only You?

    What am I not getting?
    God was. God is. God will be.
    How can I not see this?
    Do what You must, Beloved!
    Bang me on the head! Burn me alive!
    Skin me and turn me inside out!
    If this is all a pang of re-birth,
    please, please, slap me on the ass
    and get me the hell
    out of here soon!

    - Max Reif


    “Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.”
    Wendell Berry


    Last edited by Barry; 08-03-2020 at 12:51 PM.
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  41. Gratitude expressed by:

  42. TopTop #4642
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    At the Bomb Testing Site


    At noon in the desert a panting lizard
    waited for history, its elbows tense,
    watching the curve of a particular road
    as if something might happen.


    It was looking at something farther off
    than people could see, an important scene
    acted in stone for little selves
    at the flute end of consequences.


    There was just a continent without much on it
    under a sky that never cared less.
    Ready for a change, the elbows waited.
    The hands gripped hard on the desert.


    - William E. Stafford
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  43. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  44. TopTop #4643
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    How I Discovered Poetry


    It was like soul-kissing, the way the words
    filled my mouth as Mrs. Purdy read from her desk.
    All the other kids zoned an hour ahead to 3:15,
    but Mrs. Purdy and I wandered lonely as clouds borne by a breeze off Mount Parnassus.


    She must have seen
    the darkest eyes in the room brim:
    The next day she gave me a poem she’d chosen especially for me
    to read to the all except for me white class.
    She smiled when she told me to read it, smiled harder, said oh yes I could.
    She smiled harder and harder
    until I stood and opened my mouth to banjo playing darkies, pickaninnies, disses and dats. When I finished my classmates stared at the floor. We walked silent
    to the buses, awed by the power of words.


    - Marilyn Nelson
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  45. Gratitude expressed by 8 members:

  46. TopTop #4644
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Come to Hiroshima


    to those who with no shame condone
    annihilation of whole cities or nations
    please come to Hiroshima
    come in early August when the heat is worst
    make sure you're there on the sixth
    when the sweat running down your back
    somehow feels appropriate
    see the museum - learn what you can
    imagine as deeply as possible what happened
    and try to understand - why


    to those who think we need atomic bombs
    newer better more useable ones
    as certain leaders now claim
    please come to Hiroshima
    walk through Peace Park
    this epicenter - cemetery of ironic serenity
    contemplate - meditate - try to understand
    would we have done this to whites - dear Christians
    here by the riverside thousands staggered to water
    "mizu! mizu!" some couldn't even ask
    for what could possibly relieve the burning


    to those who think that war is still okay
    sleepy as people used to be about slavery
    come see the shattered wrecked dome
    left in jagged shambles to remind us
    see at sunset the paper lanterns
    red blue and gold - inscribed with dreams
    people lovingly made in the park all day
    watch them float downstream candles aglow
    like thousands of vanished souls
    or beautiful hopes - for what might be possible
    please come to Hiroshima
    and bring pictures of your loved ones


    - Ron Hertz



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  47. TopTop #4645
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Here for Life

    (Vandenberg Air Force Base, January 1983;
    first blockade of the MX Missile test)


    I am here —
    I wear the old-ones’ jade —
    it’s life, they said & precious,
    turquoise I’ve sought to hone my vision,
    & coral to cultivate the heart,
    mother of pearl for purity.

    I have put on what power I could
    to tell you there are mountains
    where the stones sleep —
    hawks nest there
    & lichens older than the ice is cold.

    The sea is vast & deep
    keeping secrets
    darker than the rocks are hard.

    I am here to tell you
    the Earth is made of things
    so much themselves
    they make the angels kneel.
    We walk among them
    & they are certain as the rain is wet
    & they are fragile as the pine is tall.

    We, too, belong to them;
    they count upon our singing,
    the footfalls of our dance,
    our children’s shouts, their laughter.

    I am here for the unfinished song,
    the uncompleted dance,
    the healing,
    the dreadful fakes of love.
    I am here for life
    & I will not go away.

    - Rafael Jesús González



    Aquí por vida

    (Base de Fuerza Aérea de Vandenberg, enero 1983;
    primer bloqueo de la prueba del proyectil nuclear MX)


    Aquí estoy —
    llevo el jade de los ancianos —
    es la vida, decían, y preciosa,
    turquesa que he buscado
    para darle filo a mi visión,
    y coral para cultivar el corazón,
    madreperla para la pureza.

    Me he puesto el poder que pude
    para decirles que hay montañas
    donde duermen las piedras —
    los halcones anidan allí
    y liquen más viejo
    de lo que el hielo es frío.

    El mar es vasto y profundo
    guardando secretos
    más oscuros
    de lo que las rocas son duras.

    Aquí estoy para decirles
    que la Tierra es hecha de cosas
    tan suyas mismas
    que hacen a los ángeles arrodillarse.
    Caminamos entre ellas
    y son ciertas como la lluvia es húmeda
    y son frágiles como el pino es alto.

    Nosotros también les pertenecemos;
    cuentan con nuestro cantar,
    los pasos de nuestro bailar,
    los gritos de [email protected] [email protected], su risa.

    Aquí estoy por la canción sin acabar,
    el baile incompleto,
    el sanar,
    las terribles adujas del amor.
    Aquí estoy por vida
    y no me iré.

    - Rafael Jesús González




    To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only7 the worst, it destroys our capacity7 to do something. If we remember those times and places – and there are so many – where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
    ~ Howard Zinn

    Last edited by Barry; 08-07-2020 at 12:25 PM.
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  48. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  49. TopTop #4646
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    To World War Two


    Early on you introduced me to young women in bars
    You were large, and with a large hand
    You presented them in different cities,
    Made me in San Luis Obispo, drunk
    On French seventy-fives, in Los Angeles, on pousse-cafe's.
    It was a time of general confusion
    Of being a body hurled at a wall.
    I didn't do much fighting. I sat, rather I stood, in a foxhole.
    I stood while the typhoon splashed us into morning.
    It felt unusual
    Even if for a good cause
    To be part of a destructive force
    With my rifle in my hands
    And in my head
    My serial number
    The entire object of my existence
    To eliminate Japanese soldiers
    By killing them
    With a rifle or with a grenade
    And then, many years after that,
    I could write poetry
    Fall in love
    And have a daughter
    And think about these things
    From a great distance
    If I survived
    I was "paying my debt
    To society" a paid
    Killer. It wasn't
    like anything I'd done
    Before, on the paved
    Streets of Cincinatti
    Or on the ballroom floor
    At Mr. Vathe's dancing class
    What would Anne Marie Goldsmith
    Have thought of me
    If instead of asking her to dance
    I had put my BAR to my shoulder
    And shot her in the face
    I thought about her in my foxhole--
    One, in a foxhole near me, has his throat cut during the night
    We take precautions but it is night and it is you.
    The typhoon continues and so do you.
    "I can't be killed--because of my poetry. I have to live on in order to write
    it."
    I thought--even crazier thought, or just as crazy--
    "If I'm killed while thinking of lines, it will be too corny
    When it's reported" (I imagined it would be reported!)
    So I kept thinking of lines of poetry. One that came to me on the beach on
    Leyte
    Was "The surf comes in like masochistic lions."
    I loved this terrible line. It was keeping me alive. My Uncle Leo wrote to me,
    "You won't believe this, but some day you may wish
    You were footloose and twenty on Leyte again." I have never wanted
    To be on Leyte again,
    With you, whispering into my ear,
    "Go on and win me! Tomorrow you might not be alive,
    So do it today!" How could anyone win you?
    You were too much for me, though I
    Was older than you were and in camouflage. But for you
    Who threw everything together, and had all the systems
    Working for you all the time, this was trivial. If you could use me
    You'd use me, and then forget. How else
    Did I think you'd behave?
    I'm glad you ended. I'm glad I didn't die. Or lose my mind.
    As machines make ice
    We made dead enemy soldiers, in
    Dark jungle alleys, with weapons in our hands
    That produced fire and kept going straight through
    I was carrying one,
    I who had gone about for years as a child
    Praying God don't let there be another war
    Or if there is, don't let me be in it. Well, I was in you.

    All you cared about was existing and being won.
    You died of a bomb blast in Nagasaki, and there were parades.

    - Kenneth Koch
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  50. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  51. TopTop #4647
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    San Gregorio Sands


    the last sweet drops of the tangerine sun
    trickle down, and the surf is tangerine foam
    San Gregorio sands are honey and gold
    and the fog is waiting till we've gone on home

    perfect day — there's a hawk there playing
    where the warm air climbs up the rocky cliff
    he can stay there floating forever
    like a daydream balanced on the point of "if"

    if I had my way, that tangerine sun
    would stay floating right there like the lazy hawk
    and San Gregorio sands would always be warm
    for an hour of love and a barefoot walk

    the road is twisty and the summer is hot
    our bags are packed and we're ready to go
    there's not much time but we'll take what we've got
    when San Gregorio calls we don't say no

    perfect day, and it's almost over
    but there's two more sips of the cherry wine
    we can stay for five more minutes
    watching gulls play hopscotch at the water line

    the sun is down, it's past time to go
    I'll be back some day but I don't know when
    San Gregorio sands will be honey and gold
    I'll shed my shoes and be home again

    - Elizabeth Fuller
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  52. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  53. TopTop #4648
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Ode to the Joyful Ones




    Shield your joyful ones.
    —from an Anglican prayer


    That they walk, even stumble, among us is reason
    to praise them, or protect them—even the sound
    of a lead slug dropped on a lead plate, even that, for them,
    is music. Because they bring laughter’s
    brief amnesia. Because they stand,
    talking, taking pleasure in others,
    with their hands on the shoulders of strangers
    and the shoulders of each other.
    Because you don’t have to tell them to walk toward the light.
    Because if there are two pork chops
    they will serve you the better one.
    Because they will give you the crutch off their backs.
    Because when there are two of them together
    their shining fills the room.
    Because you don’t have to tell them to walk toward the light.


    - Thomas Lux
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  54. Gratitude expressed by:

  55. TopTop #4649
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Sorrow Song

    for the eyes of the children,
    the last to melt,
    the last to vaporize,
    for the lingering
    eyes of the children, staring,
    the eyes of the children of
    buchenwald,
    of viet nam and johannesburg,
    for the eyes of the children
    of nagasaki,
    for the eyes of the children
    of middle passage,
    for cherokee eyes, ethiopian eyes,
    russian eyes, american eyes,
    for all that remains of the children,
    their eyes,
    staring at us, amazed to see
    the extraordinary evil in
    ordinary men.

    - Lucille Clifton
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  56. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  57. TopTop #4650
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Poem for the day from Larry Robinson

    Two Suns In The Sunset


    In my rear-view mirror the sun is going down
    Sinking behind bridges in the road
    I think of all the good things
    That we have left undone
    And I suffer premonitions
    Confirm suspicions
    Of the holocaust to come


    The rusty wire
    That holds the cork
    That keeps the anger in
    Gives way
    And suddenly it's day again


    The sun is in the east
    Even though the day is done
    Two suns in the sunset
    Could be the human race is run


    Like the moment when the brakes lock
    And you slide towards the big truck (“Oh no!”)
    You stretch the frozen moments with your fear


    And you'll never hear their voices ("Daddy, Daddy!")
    And you'll never see their faces
    You have no recourse to the law anymore


    And as the windshield melts
    And my tears evaporate
    Leaving only charcoal to defend
    Finally I understand
    The feelings of the few
    Ashes and diamonds
    Foe and friend
    We were all equal in the end


    - Roger Waters
    Last edited by Barry; Today at 12:00 PM.
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  58. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

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